Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sleeper, Vol. 1: Out in the Cold” as Want to Read:
Sleeper, Vol. 1: Out in the Cold
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sleeper, Vol. 1: Out in the Cold (Sleeper #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,832 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Masterfully combining the genres of crime stories and superheroes, SLEEPER provides a dark, humanizing exploration of the criminal world. As an undercover agent in a complex super-villain organization, Holden Carver has become caught in a web of moral uncertainty. After being forced to kill someone to preserve his cover, the self-loathing operative looks to be pulled out o ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Wildstorm (first published December 31st 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sleeper, Vol. 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sleeper, Vol. 1

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the series. It's dark and gritty. Clever and well-executed.

And while it does have superhero-type characters in it, it's not a superhero comic. It's more of a spy novel set in a world where superpowers exist.
David Schaafsma
I am going back to this because I like other Brubaker-Phillips series such as Criminal, and Gotham Central, and as I have said before with respect to Fatale, I sort of prefer the straight up Criminal to these mashups (Fatale as noir horror, Sleeper as thriller super hero). I know what they would say: Listen; you already got a bunch of crime graphic novels, you already have plenty of thriller mysteries! It's a new century, let's try to bend and interweave the genres! Have fun with the stuff! And ...more
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a review of the entire series not just this book. Not a super hero book but the characters are super human. A government agent goes undercover in a terrorist organization and the only goverment official who knows he is a plant is attacked and put in a coma. Now the protagonist has no way to prove he didn't go rogue and is trapped as a member of this terrorist organization.

One of the things I enjoyed about the TV series 24 is the character was often forced into morally questionable situat
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
A spy with a pretty unique super power goes deep under cover in the super villain community, only to have his contact in the spy network get injured and end up in a coma.
Now, he is on his own, as the villains don't entirely trust him, the rest of the spies think he's a traitor and he has to figure out how to walk this tight rope before one side or the other kills him.

Somewhere between the 'Sopranos', the 'Bourne Identity' and 'The Legion of Doom'. It's dark, gritty, there's a double cross every
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comic-books
With "Criminal", Brubaker writes these intimate character studies that are terrific, in "Sleeper" he is looking more at the inner workings of a crime syndicate, and it just doesn't grab me the way the "Criminal" stories do. On the whole, "Sleeper" seems very cartoony -the super powers and the bars that serve heros or villians -- it's all a little goofy. I think his work is much stronger when he stays with the gritty "true-crime" type stories of "Criminal".
The artwork by Sean Phillips is stellar,
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, library, noir
This started off real slow with a shaky plot and a layout that baffled any kind of flow. But once it went beyond the superheroes, or "post humans" as I should say, and started being a story about an elaborate crime ring and a good guy stuck behind enemy lines it really started to gel. Also the way they handle the "post humans" was interesting, reminded me more of Gaiman's handling of characters in American Gods than anything else I've read since. Will totally check out further volumes.
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
It started a bit slowly with all this illuminati-controls-the-world business but then it turned really great and addictive.
Paula Asthenia
Sep 13, 2015 added it
Shelves: comics
puto brubaker eh
One Flew
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this one quite hard to rate, there is a lot to like about this book but there is also a lot that feels all too familiar.

The positives: the premise of Sleeper is very cool, well executed and retro/noir with a superhero twist. Most of the characters are well devolped with great origin stories, Miss Misery in particular. I loved the concept of an undercover agent lost on the wrong side of a war that he can't even fathom the scope of. Also the vision of the 'supervillian' community to be org
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, thriller
It's Departed meets The Boys meets Steelheart , and the resultant mash pulls in the best of all three - the supers are interesting, with believable, unique powers in a world that makes sense, while a noir-ish atmosphere darkens the overall feel of the storyline. It's brutal and irreverent, but still has a slightly comic-book tone - maybe it's the art style - that stops it from becoming like the kind of gritty, slightly under-your-skin dirty experience that a Battle Angel Alita or Queen and ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Deep cover agent Carver is so deep he's not sure what's up or down. Originally a 'good guy' spy, now working for the #1 'bad guy' group, high up in the organization, his body count is insane, and the only person who knows he's actually one of the White Hats is in a coma, not likely to wake.
This could have been a cheesy B-Movie or a horrible book in the wrong hands, but Brubaker and Philips are just solid gold.
Carver is also a post-human, which means he has powers, from experiments done on him by
I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was about superheroes, or more specifically about villains, I thought it was just a crime noir kind of thing, so that was a nice surprise. But boy oh boy is this written for men. I usually like gritty, noir, dark stories. I like a genuine male perspective, I don't expect every story to be politically correct by any means. But this was just more than I enjoyed. The main female character is a Jessica Rabbit wanna-be who was literally born to be bad and ...more
Todd N
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review covers the entire series (Vol 1-4).

This is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in a long time. It combines three of my favorite types of stories: brooding noir dude, undercover spy, and lots of superheroes.

The protagonist has the quintessential noir superpower — he can absorb any amount of pain and then give it to the next person who touches him. (Wouldn’t that be Philip Marlowe’s?)

He is also so deep undercover that he’s not sure he can even come out of the cold again. This part
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is an extremely well written and fun to read book. The only reason I give it 2 stars is because I never got into the Wildstorm Universe or Authority, etc. so I don't have any connection to these characters or situations. Nor do I really feel like going back and reading the Authority collections to give these stories more meaning to me.

I've got all four trades of this series, so I'm sure I'll finish it up. I've just already invested enough of my time in the past keeping up with the Marvel an
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Ed Brubaker has always impressed me and I had heard really good things about the Sleeper series. I finally get a chance to check out the first collection and I have to say it was a little of a let down. It wasn't bad but it also wasn't spectacular either. I love the idea of a double agent but the main character here, Holden Carver, is barely shown that he cares about all the horrible things he's doing so his predicament is less gripping. Also, the book actually is moving too fast. Just when a re ...more
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
After reading the first six issues of Sleeper, I honestly can't tell you what it's about. It's allusive, clever, mysterious, tongue-in-cheek, violent, and a lot of fun to read, but the plot points consistently and deliberate obfuscate and build upon one another in ways that make it very difficult to summarize. Basically, it takes place in a world in which heroes and villains with superpowers exist alongside normal folks. The focus in Sleeper is firmly on the villains, both super-powered and othe ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich brauchte ein bisschen, bis ich mich in die Story reindenken konnte, aber diese Komplexität würde ich eher als Plus-, denn als Kritikpunkt sehen. Auch die Zeichnungen von Sean Phillips sind gewöhnungsbedürftig, aber sie geben den Ton der Geschichte vortrefflich wieder. Somit ist das erste Buch der Sleeper-Saga ein interessanter Mix aus Hard bloiled-Krimikost, Agenten-Thriller und eben auch Superhelden-Mythos, wobei es weder "super" zugeht noch Helden anzutreffen sind, Ed Brubaker demontiert d ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Noir spy thriller with superpowered heroes and villains. The spy stuff in particular was really convincing and well done. Unfortunately there are only two female characters, both of whose plot points revolve around relationships. And there's a lot of gratuitous nudity (I mean really gratuitous - like two dudes are having a conversation about important spy matters and a naked lady just happens to be walking by, filling up the panel). It didn't seem particularly misogynist, just juvenile and cluel ...more
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: comics
Sleeper is one of my favorite comic series of all time, period. The characters are engaging, and, being post-comic book code, there's no holds barred on what they're able to do. In short, there are a group of people who have superhuman abilities (the main character cannot feel pain, but can pass it on to others when he is injured, for example) who are all working as assassins for a very evil man. Of course, main character falls in love with a woman known as Miss Misery, who is in fact fueled by ...more
Feather Mista
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amantes del suspenso y violencia
Recommended to Feather by: Point Blank
Sabía que leyendo con un cacho más de atención me iba a convencer más que cuando leí entrecortado el prólogo, Point Blank. Acá encontré más de lo mismo en el buen sentido. Las partes que me parecían demasiado confusas o pretenciosas en PB acá son mucho más claras, entretenidas y personajes y situaciones están llevadas con mejor ritmo que antes. Quizás el dibujo no me haya convencido del todo, pero tampoco es que resta. Pasa de funcional a interesante según qué escena. Espero poder agarrar el #2 ...more
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
It had been a long time since I had read a more modern (not '60s) comic and this hit the spot.
A superhero/undercover spy graphic novel with great art. This had been on my radar for a long time before I got to read it.

I think it being set in the Wildstorm universe made me nostalgic for the Authority and other comics I haven't read in a while.
Wraps up in a satisfying way while teasing more awesomeness to come.
I need to get my hands on the next one soon.
Filip Różanek
Holden is horribly likeable character, man who sacrificed all good in his life for the mission and is now struggling to stay undercover and keep his humanity. Book doesn't pull any punches and grabs you deeply into dark, but fascinating world of supervillains. It takes the best of the worlds of superhero comics, noir stories and spy drama and combines them into beautiful, unique construct.
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great new comic! A fast read that left me eager for the next one. I picked it up on the theory that the deep-undercover spy story would be good; that the universe includes superheroes and fantasy tech got me really hooked. (I'm a sucker for that.) Gonna go check out the rest from OPL.
Tristan Palmer
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A double agent espionage story set in a world with capes. It's a brilliant idea and superbly executed by Brubaker's works and Phillips' stellar art. I knew they were a great creative duo, but I had no idea what I was gettin myself into. I can't wait to dig into the next volume.
Amal El-Mohtar
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. SO AMAZING. Ye gods Ed Brubaker. Way to make me root for the villains and never want to read THE AUTHORITY because they're clearly a bunch of pompous assbags! This was just ... Thoroughly fantastic. YES. MORE.
Gautam Surath
May 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
If you are going to write something that is similar to stuff out there then the style needs to be different and enticing. Else the view point needs to be different. In the end sleeper left me out in the cold and I ain't coming back in!
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't usually love crime/espionage/villain stories, but I do love Ed Brubaker. Not everything in this was to my taste, but it was certainly well-crafted and the twisty plot and sharp dialogue made me want to read more.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Superpower goes undercover into a supervillain organization, then his contact (and the only person who knows he's undercover) is killed.

I have the complete series, just didn't feel like typing them all in.
Patrick Mcgee
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story. Another one I waits too long to check out. Plan on getting volume two to continue the story.
Eric Skillman
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Pure noir, and the best use of super-power as character trait I can think of. Highly recommended.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Powers, Vol. 5: Anarchy
  • The Losers, Vol. 2: Double Down
  • 100 Bullets, Vol. 11: Once Upon a Crime
  • Scalped, Vol. 5: High Lonesome (Scalped, #5)
  • Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism
  • The Authority, Vol. 1: Relentless
Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles
More about Ed Brubaker...

Other Books in the Series

Sleeper (4 books)
  • Sleeper, Vol. 2: All False Moves
  • Sleeper, Vol. 3: A Crooked Line
  • Sleeper, Vol. 4: The Long Way Home